Babies and children are particulary susceptible to carsickness. Here are 4 common causes of carsickness and how to prevent them.
It can get toasty in a carseat. When a child overheats, they can feel nauseous. Monitor the temperature in your car. When it’s hot out, keep the cool air pumping or open a window for fresh air. When it’s cold, use a blanket in the car to keep warm vs thick layers. Your child can remove the blanket if they get hot or when the car heats up.
When the car is moving, your child’s body registers the motion. When they feel motion but can’t see corresponding motion with their eyes, it causes a disruption in body. Keeping eyes down inside a car, or focusing on the fast moving shoulder of the road, won’t send proper signals to the brain, and this can cause nausea. Teach children to look at the clouds or far away things out the window. Point at things in the distance to keep a small baby’s eyes focused out the window.
Eating Right Before Riding
Food stays in the stomach for a minimum of 40 minutes before it begins to pass to the small intestine. Eating a meal and then riding within those first 40 minutes can cause carsickness, especially in children who are still rear-facing. Waiting a full 40 minutes, or eating a much smaller amount, can help combat this.
Poor Air Quality
Just as the air inside your home can become poor in quality, the air inside your car can contain harmful toxins or VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can cause nausea. Cars sit outside in extremely hot temps without temperature control. This extreme heat can cause plastics, foams, and adhesives to off-gas more than usual, especially in the peak of summer. Good news, there are ways to combat this.
- Open the windows whenever you get in the car to release stored air.
- Remove any excess plastics or manufactured materials that you are storing in the car to reduce unnecessary off-gassing.
- Vacuum your car often, as VOCs can become trapped in dust.
- Choose car brands committed to reducing VOCs in cars (Honda/Accura and Ford/Lincoln have been paving the way in the area). If you suspect your new car may be off-gassing, leave it closed in the hot sun to speed up off-gassing, then drive it with open windows (without your kids) to release the stored air, then vacuum and dust interior surfaces of the car. Repeat as necessary.
Follow Simple Mommy on Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify for the latest
Sign up to receive our news and updates